Walmart Canada on Tuesday announced the expansion of Walmart’s global online marketplace to Walmart Canada’s flagship online store, Walmart.ca. There are now 27 third-party sellers, curated by Walmart Canada, offering their products on Walmart.ca in home, baby, apparel, toys and sporting goods, according to a company blog post.
With the move, the site doubles its online product assortment, with plans to quadruple the number of products for sale online by the end of this year. Sellers featured at launch have been selected for their strong online reputation and customer service, the company said.
Walmart’s e-commerce marketplace, launched in 2009, is steadily growing, in part because many merchants want to diversify their outlets beyond Amazon’s marketplace.
After running its third-party marketplace as an afterthought for years, Walmart has picked up the pace following its $3.3 billion acquisition last year of e-marketplace Jet.com.
Many merchants depend on Amazon for more than 80% of sales, and Amazon's dominance has many of them worried. In a recent study, marketplace commerce platform Feedvisor found that 52% of merchants are concerned Amazon will take away their privileges, 50% are worried about high fees and 45% are scared Amazon will compete directly with them. That’s an opportunity that makes the growth at Walmart unsurprising, according to Ohad Hagai, Feedvisor marketing VP.
Some 65% of sellers on Amazon’s Marketplace say they also sell on eBay, while about 40% sell on their own website too. Less than 10% say they sell on Rakuten, Walmart or Jet, according to Feedvisor. The highest-volume sellers are the most likely to also sell on other channels, and more than a third of sellers with over $2 million in annual revenue also sell on Walmart — more than double the number of medium-sized sellers and over 1,300% more than smaller ones, according to the report.
"We know that Walmart has put in a lot of effort," Hagai told Retail Dive last month. "If anyone can compete at some point with Amazon it could be Walmart because they already have great distribution centers. And I think Walmart understands the need to develop their own marketplace."
The marketplace expansion in Canada, which continues apace as that unit invites more third-party sellers, allows the retail giant to quickly expand its assortment, which online still pales compared to Amazon.
Walmart's goal is simple, "to make shopping easier and more convenient for our customers," Rick Neuman, executive VP of technology & eCommerce at Walmart Canada, said on the company’s blog. "The expansion through the walmart.ca marketplace allows us to rapidly grow our product assortment through sellers we’ve chosen specifically to address the needs of our customers."
Walmart Canada is taking applications from sellers to join the site in the coming months, the company said, and those selling on the Walmart U.S. marketplace "can quickly and easily launch on the Walmart Canada marketplace."